Orkney showcased at major speciality food and trade fair event

Eleven Orkney businesses are set to showcase their products at a major food and trade fair event, which gets underway in Glasgow this weekend.

Scotland’s Speciality Food Show 2017 brings together 130 exhibitors offering the very best of fine food products from Scotland, the UK and overseas. The show, which regularly attracts over 1,000 buyers from delicatessens, farm shops, speciality food retailers and food halls, will run concurrently with the Scotland’s Trade Fair event at Glasgow’s SECC, between 22 and 24 January.

Four Orkney businesses – all members of Orkney Food and Drink - will attend the speciality food show, including first-timers Orkney Distilling, makers of Kirkjuvagr Gin.

Kirkjuvagr Gin from Orkney Distilling Ltd Kirkjuvagr Gin from Orkney Distilling Ltd

“We’ve heard a lot of good things about this trade show from the Orkney businesses that have attended in the past,” said Orkney Distilling’s managing director, Stephen Kemp. “We’re particularly keen to explore new markets for Kirkjuvagr Gin, and tell as wide an audience as possible about our product and our story. This is also going to be an exceptionally busy year for Orkney Distilling, with construction starting on our new Kirkwalldistillery and visitor centre, so the event promises to get 2017 off to a flying start for us.”

Seven Orkney Crafts Association (OCA) businesses will take part in the trade fair element of the SECC event, which attracts around 5,000 buyers.

Amongst the Orkney contingent will be Stromness based jeweller Zoe Davidson, who launched her business last year. This will be Zoe’s first time at the Glasgow event.

Zoe Davidson Jewellery will be attending Scotland's Trade Fair for the first time - image by Art Mosomi Zoe Davidson Jewellery will be attending Scotland's Trade Fair for the first time - image by Art Mosomi

“This event will be a completely new experience for me, but attending under the Orkney Crafts Association banner is most reassuring and I’m incredibly excited about taking part,” she said. “I’ve recently launched a new collection, so I’m particularly looking forward to showcasing that, along with my other work, to such a wide audience.”

Zoe added: “Orkney enjoys a very strong reputation for quality and diversity in terms of its craft production, with all of us bringing something different to the marketplace, so this collective and mutually supportive approach to trade fair attendance makes a lot of sense.”

Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts, said: “Given the massive scale of the Speciality Food Show and Scotland’s Trade Fair events, this is potentially a very important weekend for Orkney businesses. With thousands of buyers attending, it’s the perfect opportunity for both well-established and new local businesses to present their products, talk directly to trade customers and get the year off to a positive start in terms of fresh orders. Orkney companies have also historically done very well in the awards that are staged as part of the event, so we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for a continuation of that tradition.”

Orkney Food and Drink members are regular attendees at the event in Glasgow Orkney Food and Drink members are regular attendees at the event in Glasgow

The full list of Orkney companies attending the Speciality Food Show is: Orkney Creamery (Ice Cream), The Orkney Bakery (Argo's), Jolly’s of Orkney and Orkney Distilling.

Attending the Scotland’s Trade Fair element of the event will be jewellery firms Sheila Fleet, Aurora, Ortak, Celina Rupp and Zoe Davidson, in addition to textile businesses Hume Sweet Hume and Annie Glue Knitwear.

Attendance at the event is being supported by an Orkney Marketing funding package. An initiative between Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Orkney Islands Council (OIC), Orkney Marketing funding is available to projects that focus on bringing local companies together in joint promotions, ensuring the islands maintain a strong presence in competitive markets such as food and drink, the creative industries and renewable energy.

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